March/April Milk Feed Margin at $8.94/cwt
Despite an April All-Milk Price of $16.50, down 80¢/cwt from March, the April milk-feed margin was still $8.55 and the March/April margin came in at $8.95, reports the United States Department of Agriculture.
As a result, there will be no dairy Margin Protection Program payments for the March/April period.
The reason for relatively strong margins are low feed prices, particularly corn and soybean meal. Corn was $3.43/bu in April, and soybean meal came in at $306/ton. Alfalfa hay prices actually jumped to $148/ton in April, up $13/ton from March.
But dairy farmers are likely feeling the squeeze. The all-milk price was $18.90 in January, and has dropped 15% since then. With rebounding commodity prices, that trend should reverse itself in May.